I hope that your week has started well.
This day in Naval History
1814—Sloop of war USS Wasp informs crew on the Swedish brig Adonis that she is headed to the Caribbean but is never seen again, with all hands lost.
1873—Lt. Charles Belknap calls a meeting of 15 officers at the U.S. Naval Academy to establish the U.S. Naval Institute for the purpose of disseminating scientific and professional knowledge throughout the Navy.
1918—While escorting HMS Aquitania, USS Shaw's (DD 68) rudder jams just as she is completing the right leg of a zigzag, leaving her headed directly toward the transport. Aquitania then strikes Shaw, cutting off 90 feet of the destroyer's bow, mangling her bridge and setting her on fire. Shaw's crew heroically brings her under control, though 12 lives are lost.
1940—Secretary of the Navy William F. Knox approves recommendation to equip 24 submarines with gasoline for delivery to seaplanes on the water. The move followed a demonstration in which submarine Nautilus (SS 168) refueled patrol planes and conducted successful test dive to 300 feet with aviation gasoline aboard.
1942—The first three schools for enlisted WAVES open at Stillwater, OK. (Yeoman), Bloomington, IN. (Storekeepers), and Madison, WI. (Radiomen).
1943—USS Kingfish (SS 234) torpedoes and sinks Japanese oiler Hayamato in Sibitu Channel. Also on this date, USS Rasher (SS 269) sinks Japanese army cargo ship Kogane Maru 28 miles from Ambon, while USS Wahoo (SS 239) sinks Japanese cargo ship Hankow Maru off Oga Peninsula.
1943—USS Buck (DD 420) sinks after being torpedoed by German submarine U 616. Spotted by friendly aircraft the next morning, 97 survivors are rescued by USS Gleaves (DD 423) and the British LCT 170 the following evening.
1945—Typhoon Louise hits Okinawa, sinking 12 ships, grounding 222 and damaging 32 beyond the ability of ships' companies to repair.
1945 - Parade in New York City honors FADM Chester W. Nimitz and 13 other Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor winners.
1952—Carrier aircraft strike communist troops along the front lines in the Korean Peninsula. Naval aviators referred to these raids as "Cherokee strikes" in recognition of the Native American ancestry of Commander Seventh Fleet Vice Adm. Joseph J. Clark.
1961 - USS Princeton rescues 74 survivors of two shipwrecks (U.S. lines Pioneer Muse and SS Shiek) from the island of Kita Daito Shima.
Today in History October 9
The Temple of Apollo is dedicated on the Palatine Hill in Rome.
Henry VI of England restored to the throne.
Austrian and Russian troops enter Berlin and begin burning structures and looting.
The Luddite riots being in Manchester, England in reaction to machinery for spinning cotton.
Americans begin shelling the British surrounded at Yorktown.
The first Norwegian immigrants to America arrive on the sloop Restaurationen.
Confederate cavalry raiders return to Chattanooga after attacking Union General William Rosecrans' supply and communication lines all around east Tennessee.
The Washington Monument, designed by Robert Mills, opens to the public.
Germans take Antwerp, Belgium, after 12-day siege.
In Marseilles, a Macedonian revolutionary associated with Croat terrorists in Hungary assassinates King Alexander of Yugoslavia and French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou. The two had been on a tour of European capitals in quest of an alliance against Nazi Germany. The assassinations bring the threat of war between Yugoslavia and Hungary, but confrontation is prevented by the League of Nations.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt requests congressional approval for arming U.S. merchant ships.
Eugene O'Neill's play The Iceman Cometh opens at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York.
Harvard Law School begins admitting women.
U.N. forces, led by the First Cavalry Division, cross the 38th parallel in South Korea and begin attacking northward towards the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
The president of South Korea, Doo Hwan Chun, with his cabinet and other top officials are scheduled to lay a wreath on a monument in Rangoon, Burma, when a bomb explodes. Hwan had not yet arrived so escaped injury, but 17 Koreans--including the deputy prime minister and two other cabinet members--and two Burmese are killed. North Korea is blamed.
Last flight of the Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" stealth reconnaissance aircraft.
North Korea reportedly tests its first nuclear device.
TOP-INTEREST ITEMS FROM THE NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
Happy 243rd Birthday, U.S. Navy!
Throughout the world, U.S. Navy Sailors, family members, veterans, civilians, and friends will celebrate the Navy's 243rd birthday this Saturday, Oct. 13. This year's theme is "Forged by the Sea." The sea is the greatest force on earth, and it has the power to transform Sailors, enabling them to go beyond what they thought possible. American Sailors have been forged by the sea since 1775 when the Continental Congress determined a navy was needed to protect America and our international interests. After the American Revolution, the U.S. Constitution empowered the new Congress "to provide and maintain a navy." Acting on this authority, Congress established the Department of the Navy on April 30, 1798. In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized Oct. 13 as the official recognition of the Navy's birthday. For 243 years, the U.S. Navy has celebrated the seekers of knowledge and adventure. The American Sailor is the difference, and on this birthday we celebrate the security Sailors provide for all Americans. Happy birthday, U.S. Navy!
50 Years Ago Apollo 7 Launched
On Oct. 11, 1968, NASA launched Apollo 7—the first manned orbital flight of the Apollo Program. U.S. Navy Cmdr. Walter "Wally" Schirra Jr. commanded the mission, which was the first manned test of the command and service module, or CSM. The CSM was designed to bring humans safely to the moon and back again. The crew spent 10 days, 20 hours in space and orbited the Earth 163 times. On Oct. 22, 1968, the spacecraft splashed down 285 miles south of Bermuda, approximately eight miles from primary recovery ship USS Essex. Helicopters of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 5 (HS-5) returned the astronauts to the carrier. Schirra was the only Mercury astronaut to have flown on Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft. To learn more about the Navy's role in space exploration, visit NHHC's website.
H-011-1: Guadalcanal: Victory at Cape Esperance (Sort of)—11/12 October 1942
H-Gram 011, Attachment 1
Samuel J. Cox, Director NHHC
Samuel J. Cox, Director NHHC
Although Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, was rightly known for his even-tempered, gentlemanly leadership style, it is less well remembered that he had nerves of steel and ice water in his veins when the situation required, and he was single-minded in his drive to engage with and defeat the enemy. Not long after the debacle at the Battle of Savo Island, as U.S. Navy forces were licking their wounds and had essentially ceded the night waters around Guadalcanal to the Japanese, Nimitz issued the following directive on 19 August 1942:
"Suitable targets present themselves only rarely to our guns, bombs and torpedoes. On those rare occasions our tactics must be such that our objective will be gunned, bombed or torpedoed to destruction. Surely we will have losses—but we will also destroy ships and be that much nearer to the successful conclusion of the war. We cannot expect to inflict heavy losses on the enemy without ourselves accepting the risk of punishment. To win this war we must come to grips with the enemy. Courage, determination and action, will see us through."
Since Sailors on ships don't get to decide when to fight, Nimitz's message was clearly directed at the Commander of U.S. Forces in the South Pacific Area, Vice Admiral Robert Ghormley; the commander of the U.S. carrier task force (CTF-61), Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher; and the commander of the U.S. amphibious force (CTF-62), Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner, none of whom appeared to "get" Nimitz's intent. Although Turner sent multiple risky supply runs into Guadalcanal, Fletcher spent most of his time out of range of Japanese land-based aviation (and too far to provide regular close support to Guadalcanal), while steaming around in submarine-infested waters. To be fair to both commanders, a severe shortage of fuel oil adversely affected their operations, but after the Battle of Savo Island (and a couple of subsequent smaller night battles that went badly for the U.S. forces) Ghormley considered it too dangerous to risk U.S. surface ships in night action around Guadalcanal to interdict the frequent runs by the Japanese "Tokyo Express" bringing reinforcements and supplies by destroyer to the Japanese army forces on Guadalcanal that were attempting to dislodge the U.S. Marines. Although the Japanese army repeatedly underestimated the force levels required to eject the Marines, nevertheless the increasing numbers and supplies made it increasingly more difficult for the Marines to hold the island in the face of repeated Japanese attacks.
After what both Nimitz and CNO King viewed as a lackluster performance at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, and after he was slightly wounded when his flagship USS Saratoga (CV-3) was torpedoed and put out of action on 31 August, Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher was promoted to Vice Admiral and then sent back to the States, where he never held combat command again. His successor as commander of the carrier task force, Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, didn't last much longer, being relieved after USS Wasp (CV-7) was torpedoed and sunk on 15 September. Ghormley's days were numbered, too. After a major command conference held on Ghormley's flagship, USS Argonne (AG-31) at Noumea, French New Caledonia, on 28 September 1942, Nimitz's concern increased that Ghormley (a close friend) lacked the fortitude and aggressiveness needed for the job, as well as the physical stamina. Nimitz then flew to Guadalcanal (where Ghormley had not yet been) to see for himself the conditions on the ground. Nimitz clearly recognized the extreme challenges in getting sufficient supplies to the island, but also identified a long list of things that could be done—and that weren't being done—to improve the situation, which Nimitz then handed to Ghormley on his way back to Hawaii. In response to pressure from Nimitz, Ghormley issued an order on 5 October to Rear Admiral Norman Scott to take a task group of cruisers and destroyers into the approaches to Guadalcanal and interdict the next "Tokyo Express" run.
Fortuitously, Rear Admiral Scott, an aggressive commander in the mold Nimitz was looking for, had spent the previous several weeks in intensive night training, trying to make up for two previous decades in which the U.S. Navy mostly avoided such evolutions. In fact, U.S. doctrine specifically called for cruisers to avoid night fighting, and destroyers were to engage only when necessary (and withhold using their torpedoes for "high-value" units). Scott's efforts would get their test on the night of 11/12 October 1942.
The Japanese had quickly realized that any supply ships, even fast destroyer-transports, were at serious risk if they were caught during daylight by U.S. Marine and Navy aircraft flying from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. After a couple of night attacks by U.S. aircraft, the Japanese also determined that running the missions when the moon was full was a bad idea (reaching this conclusion at the same time that Brigadier General Roy Geiger, USMC, commander of U.S. aircraft on Guadalcanal, banned further nighttime attacks as too dangerous due to several operational losses). As a result, "Tokyo Express" runs were timed to go about every three days during the dark phase of the moon.
The Japanese planned for a major coordinated army and navy offensive to retake Guadalcanal timed for mid-October. To do so, the Japanese needed to get more reinforcements and at least some heavy artillery onto the island, and to suppress air operations from Henderson Field. So, the Japanese operation on 11/12 October was much more than the typical five- to six-destroyer "Tokyo Express" run. The Japanese sent two task groups: a reinforcement group and a bombardment group. For reasons that made sense only to the Japanese, the reinforcement group went first and the bombardment followed several hours later. The reinforcement group, consisting of the seaplane tenders Nisshin and Chitose (serving as transports, with cranes to get heavy artillery off) and six destroyers carrying hundreds of troops, was sighted by U.S. scout aircraft, although the seaplane tenders were misidentified as cruisers (so Rear Admiral Scott knew he was facing more than a normal "Tokyo Express"). Their speed was miscalculated so that they arrived off Guadalcanal faster than Scott expected, and before Scott arrived to interdict. So important did the Japanese consider this group that the last six Zeros providing air cover were ordered to stay on station until after nightfall and ditch when they ran out of gas; five of the pilots perished.
The Japanese bombardment group, under the command of Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto and consisting of three heavy cruisers (flagship Aoba, Furutaka, and Kinugasa, all among the victors at the Battle of Savo Island,) and two destroyers remained undetected by U.S. scout aircraft as they passed through a gauntlet of rain showers. When the reinforcement group arrived off Guadalcanal, they reported that there were no American ships present, which reinforced Goto's false sense of security.
In the meantime, Rear Admiral Scott's cruiser-destroyer force transited up the west coast of Guadalcanal, where it was sighted by the surprised Japanese submarine I-26, which submerged rapidly before issuing a contact report; when it resurfaced to do so it was too late. Scott's force consisted of nine ships in single line-ahead formation, with destroyers USS Farenholt (DD-491), USS Duncan (DD-485), and USS Laffey (DD-459) in the lead, followed by four cruisers: the flagship heavy cruiser USS San Francisco (CA-38), light cruiser USS Boise (CL-47) , heavy cruiser USS Salt Lake City (CA-25), and light cruiser USS Helena (CL-50). Two destroyers, USS Buchanan (DD-484) and USS McCalla (DD-488), followed behind the cruisers.
Boise and Helena were each equipped with the newer SG radar (centimetric wave), which was much more accurate and less prone to false alarms than the older SC radars (metric-wave) on San Francisco and Salt Lake City (although the "older" SC radars were only a year old.) Scott had also been mistakenly informed that the Japanese had receivers that could detect the SC radar (they didn't), which would give the Japanese the edge on warning. As a result, Scott ordered the SC radars turned off so as not to give away his presence, an order that Salt Lake City either didn't get or ignored. Regardless, Scott did not have a radar picture onboard San Francisco until after the battle started. Scott had also previously ordered all four cruisers to offload all but one each of their catapult-launched scout float planes to avoid what happened at Savo Island, where burning float planes essentially divided the ships in two and served as beacons for additional Japanese fire. Scott ordered the remaining float planes to launch after dark to search for the Japanese. The plane from Salt Lake City caught fire and crashed immediately after launch, but fortunately the Japanese reinforcement group was already around the corner on the north side of Guadalcanal and did not see the flames—nor did the approaching bombardment group, which was in a rain squall. Helena didn't get the word to launch, and jettisoned her plane over the side. Boise's plane developed engine trouble and set down north of Guadalcanal, where it observed the rest of the battle from the water. At 2250, San Francisco's plane sighted the reinforcement group north of Guadalcanal and her report caused confusion because the Japanese were not expected to be there yet. The reinforcement group failed to report the presence of a scout plane to Rear Admiral Goto.
As Scott transited northward just west of the strait between Guadalcanal and Savo Island, the Japanese reinforcement group was already past him unseen to the east, while the Japanese bombardment group was approaching from the west—the direction from which Scott was expecting a Japanese force of some kind to come. The Japanese cruisers were in a line-ahead formation with Aoba in the lead, followed by Furutaka and Kinugasa, while the two destroyers screened slightly ahead on each flank. Right before Scott gave the order for his formation to conduct a column turn and reverse course to stay within the strait—and unbeknownst to him—radar on Helena and then Boise began detecting the Japanese ships approaching from the northwest. As related in the introduction, Scott's order immediately went wrong. Instead of following the lead destroyers into the column turn, flagship San Francisco immediately turned to port. Captain Edward J. "Mike" Moran on Boise, following behind San Francisco, had to make a quick decision: Either do what the admiral ordered and follow the destroyers into the column turn, or do what the flagship was doing and stay behind San Francisco into her turn. He chose the latter, as did the rest of the ships in the formation. Captain Robert Tobin, the destroyer squadron leader on Farenholt, then had to guess what he was supposed to do, so he led the three destroyers in a port turn to reverse course coming up alongside the U.S. cruisers, between them and the approaching Japanese, although Duncan spun out alone into the darkness.
San Francisco's mistake actually resulted in Scott being in position to cross Goto's "T." Had the U.S. ships correctly executed the column turn, which would have taken longer, the two forces would have approached each other on a perpendicular collision course, and Goto might even have crossed Scott's "T." Scott delayed opening fire while he tried to determine exactly where his lead destroyers were. The picture was further clouded as U.S. ships reported relative and true bearings of Japanese ships interchangeably. Goto remained convinced that the ships his lookouts were reporting ahead (initially at 11,000 yards) had to be the Japanese reinforcement group since American ships had not operated in force off Guadalcanal at night since their thrashing at Savo Island two months earlier. Goto was still not convinced even after his lookouts at 7,000 yards reported that the ships were the enemy, and he ordered his flagship Aoba to flash her recognition lights and signal her identity via flashing light. (For whatever reason, the U.S. ships did not seem to have seen this, apparently while staring at their radar scopes.)
As the two forces closed to within 4,500 yards, Captain Gilbert C. Hoover on Helena, convinced that the ships he was seeing to west were Japanese and not U.S. destroyers, requested permission to open fire. Hoover misinterpreted Scott's acknowledgment of the transmission as permission, and opened fire at 2345. Other U.S. ships followed suit. Scott then spent the next several minutes trying, unsuccessfully, to order a cease-fire. Farenholt, caught in the line of fire, received some damage from rounds impacting her masts and one in her hull that were intended for the Japanese cruisers beyond, while Laffey went to an emergency backing bell to get out of the line of fire.
Although Goto had ordered his ships to go to general quarters as a precaution, he was still caught by surprise and unprepared. His guns were still trained fore and aft, still loaded with antipersonnel bombardment rounds, when his flagship was savaged by repeated hits from the Americans. Furutaka turned to parallel in the same direction as the American course, valiantly interposing herself between the Americans and the Japanese flagship, and paid the price. Aoba would ultimately survive (with over 40 hits and 79 dead), but Furutaka would not. The Japanese destroyer on the starboard side of the Japanese formation, Fubuki, took a severe pounding and would sink too (Fubuki had been instrumental in sinking the heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA-30)—during the Battle of Sunda Strait on 1 March 1942). In a rare event by that time of the war, 111 of Fubuki's crew would be rescued by the Americans the next day and become prisoners of war.
As Aoba limped away under cover of a smoke screen, and Furutaka was smothered in U.S. shellfire (hit over 90 times, with 258 dead), the third cruiser in the Japanese line, Kinugasa, opted to turn parallel, but in the opposite direction as the American line, quickly taking her out of the close-range fight. Kinugasa then proceeded to give a demonstration of accurate Japanese nighttime shooting, and fired several torpedoes at Helena and Boise, which both ships successfully maneuvered to avoid. Kinugasa received only a few hits, much less than she inflicted. Kinugasa repeatedly straddled Boise forward, stressing her hull. Then, she hit and jammed Boise's number 1 turret and ignited a fire; as the crew of burning turret 1 attempted to abandon it, they were cut down by another hit. Another shell hit Boise below the waterline. This was a special Type 91 shell, which was specifically designed to do exactly what it did: hit short and hole the target below the waterline. In a freak combination, the hits were both devastating and saved the ship. The first hits resulted in a flash fire that incinerated the entire crews of turrets 1 and 2—over a hundred men—and threatened a magazine explosion. Only the discipline and training of Boise's crew in how they handled powder prevented an instant explosion. Captain Moran ordered the forward magazines flooded, but the men who would carry out that order were dead. However, the hole and cracks below the waterline flooded the magazine before it could detonate. Nevertheless, the fire was so great that observers on other ships assumed Boise was lost. Like Furutaka, Salt Lake City placed herself between the burning Boise and the Japanese, and took a couple hits from Kinugasa as a result.
As the battle was starting, the destroyer Duncan (second in line) had become separated from the other two leading destroyers, at which point she sighted Japanese ships, probably Kinugasa and a destroyer. Alone and lacking any orders, the skipper of Duncan, Lieutenant Commander Edmund B. Taylor, decided to conduct a solo torpedo attack. Just as Duncan was in position to launch her torpedoes, she took a devastating series of hits from both Japanese and American shells, which knocked out the gun director among other things, and one of her torpedoes actually launched into her own forward stack. With the flames forward out of control, the only means of escape from the advancing flames for the bridge crew was to jump directly into the water from the bridge. Meanwhile, the crew aft of the blaze continued to try to fight the fire, and fight the ship at the same time, guns still blazing. Eventually, however, the flames forced all the survivors into the water. The next day, the destroyer USS McCalla found the burned-out hull of Duncan still afloat, without her crew, and sent a boat with a damage-control party aboard to try to save the ship; they were driven off when it became apparent that the forward magazine was in danger of exploding. One hundred and ninety-five of Duncan's valiant crew were ultimately rescued, but 48 were lost. Lieutenant Commander Taylor would be awarded a Navy Cross. (Taylor's son, Captain Edmund R. Taylor Jr., would be killed in the same helicopter crash that took the life of Rear Admiral Rembrandt Robinson in the Gulf of Tonkin in May 1972.)
As the remains of Goto's force withdrew to the northwest, Scott initially turned to follow, but believing that they had sunk more Japanese ships than were actually involved and concerned over the fate of Boise and Duncan, he opted to withdraw to the south. (Japanese sinking claims were just as inflated.) The Japanese force received orders to turn around and attack, which they were in no condition to do, and after a brief period of advance to save face, Kinugasa turned about to retreat. The Japanese did send two destroyers to search for survivors of Furutaka, which were caught and bombed by U.S. aircraft at dawn, and one (Murakumo) was immobilized. Two more Japanese destroyers came to the rescue, and they were also bombed, sinking Natsugumo before Murakumo finally sank, too, bringing total Japanese losses in the battle to one heavy cruiser, three destroyers, and 565 men, for the loss of one U.S. destroyer and 163 American dead. The loss of a heavy cruiser in a night surface action was a profound shock to the Japanese, who had come to believe themselves to be nearly invincible at night. It was also a huge morale boost to the U.S. Navy, who had finally proved that the Japanese were not invincible at night.
Nevertheless, the Americans took away some bad lessons. Most importantly, because of the surprise, the Japanese were not able to mount an effective torpedo attack, so the U.S. remained oblivious to the real power and range of the Japanese Long Lance torpedo—and a line of nine American ships all in a column would have made a great target (especially with Boise's and Helena's near-continuous gunfire flashes acting as beacons) had the Japanese not been thrown into total chaos in the opening moments of the battle. The U.S. would use that formation again and suffer for it several times. (To be fair, though, Japanese Rear Admiral Mikawa had used a single column formation to great effect at Savo Island, because it was the most simple to control, and even he lost control of it.) Scott's choice of San Francisco as flagship (the "traditional" choice since she was the largest ship in the force), which did not have the most modern radar, would also be repeated in future battles. Nevertheless, numerous practical lessons were learned about communications, gunnery, and ship-handling necessary to fight at night. Despite the chaotic aspects of the battle, Scott was the first U.S. commander who could claim to have engaged a major Japanese surface force in battle (night or day) and won.
Meanwhile, however, the Japanese reinforcement group successfully completed its mission unmolested, putting ashore hundreds of Japanese troops, and four 15-cm (approximately 6-inch) artillery pieces, which were the first that could reach the western end of Henderson Field from Japanese lines. They opened fire the next night, presaging a far more devastating bombardment to follow.
Item Number:1 Date: 10/09/2018 AFGHANISTAN - PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE KILLED IN BLAST AT CAMPAIGN OFFICE (OCT 09/KP) KHAAMA PRESS -- A candidate for Afghanistan's parliamentary elections has been killed in a bombing at his campaign office in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern Helmand province, reports the Khaaama Press Agency (Afghanistan). On Tuesday, an explosion at the office of Saleh Mohammad Achekzai killed 10 people, including Achekzai, reported the Voice of America News. At least 15 people were injured in the attack, said a provincial police spokesman. The bombing came a day after the Taliban ordered its fighters to disrupt the elections by attacking officials and security forces protecting voters as well as polling stations. The militant group urged voters and candidates to boycott the elections.
Item Number:2 Date: 10/09/2018 AUSTRALIA - U.S. MARINE COMMANDER RELIEVED OF DUTY AFTER DUI (OCT 09/AFP) AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The commander of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin in northern Australia has been fired after a drunk driving charge, reports Agence France-Presse. Col. James Schnelle was relieved of command after he was pulled over while driving drunk by police in Darwin last month, a Marine spokesman said on Monday. Schnelle was fined US$353 and had his license suspended for six months, said an Australian legal official. Col. Schnelle led about 1,500 Marines deployed to Darwin for a six-month rotation as part of Washington's rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. Lt. Col. Jeramy Brady will assume command the force for the duration of the current rotation, said a Marine spokesman. The Marines have initiated an investigation into Schnelle, he said.
Item Number:3 Date: 10/09/2018 BURKINA FASO - EXPLOSION KILLS AT LEAST 6 SECURITY PERSONNEL IN LOROUM PROVINCE (OCT 09/PTI) PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- At least six security forces have been killed in a roadside bombing in northwestern Burkina Faso, reports the Press Trust of India. On Oct. 5, a police convoy was ambushed in Solle in Loroum province near the border with Mali, said a security source cited by Agence France-Presse. The lead vehicle struck an improvised explosive device, killing six officers, the source said. The convoy was then hit by gunfire, which injured several officers. A search for the attackers has been launched. Separately, a police officer was killed in a bombing in Pama in the eastern Kompienga province on Oct. 6. Airstrikes were subsequently launched in the forests around Pama, which are known as a hideout for militants and bandits, locals said. Violence has increased in the country's northern and eastern regions following the seizure of Mali's northern desert by Islamist militants in 2012. According to an official report published last month about 118 people have been killed, including 70 civilians, in militant attacks.
Item Number:4 Date: 10/09/2018 IRAN - PARLIAMENT APPROVES LEGISLATION TO STEM TERRORISM FINANCING (OCT 09/RFE/RL) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- The Iranian Parliament has approved a measure against the funding of terrorism, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. On Oct. 7, lawmakers voted in favor of a bill designed to bring Iran's laws in line with international standards and allow Tehran to join the U.N. convention on terrorism financing. The bill was one of four proposed by the government aimed at bringing Iran into compliance with recommendations from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), reported Reuters. In June, the FATF suspended Iran from its blacklist with the provision that Tehran implement revisions by October or face further financial consequences, noted the Financial Times (U.K.). The blacklisting of Iran has hurt the country's ability to access international banking. President Hassan Rohani has introduced several pieces of legislation working to implement international standards but has struggled to get the measures passed. Hardliners have opposed such legislation, expressing concern that it could hinder foreign policy and Iran's financial support of allies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon. The legislation must still be approved by Iran's top clerical body, the Guardians Council, before becoming law.
Item Number:6 Date: 10/09/2018 JAPAN - 11TH SORYU-CLASS SUBMARINE LAUNCHED; 1ST WITH LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES (OCT 09/DIPLOMAT) DIPLOMAT -- Japan has launched its latest Soryu-class diesel-electric submarine, reports the Diplomat (Tokyo). On Oct. 4, the Oryu was lowered into the water at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Kobe in Japan's southern Hyogo prefecture. The Oryu, the 11th ship of the class, is the first to be fitted with lithium-ion batteries. The previous boats in the class are equipped with lead-acid batteries. Submarines switch from diesel power to battery power during combat operations to silence the engine and become more difficult to detect. Lithium-ion batteries are capable of storing twice the power of lead-acid batteries, providing an extended range and allowing the submarine to be submerged for longer periods of time, reported the Nikkei Asian Review. The vessel is 276 feet (84 meters) long, displaces 2,950 tons and can reach speeds of 20 knots. The Oryu is scheduled to be delivered to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force by March 2020.
Item Number:7 Date: 10/09/2018 LIBYA - EGYPTIAN ARMY OFFICER TURNED TERRORIST ARRESTED IN DERNA (OCT 09/EI) EGYPT INDEPENDENT -- A former Egyptian army officer who became a wanted terrorist has been arrested in eastern Libya, reports the Egyptian Independent. Forces loyal to eastern general Khalifa Haftar arrested Hisham Ashmawy on Monday in the city of Derna. The former soldier was wearing a suicide vest when he was captured, reported BBC. Egyptian authorities have requested his extradition, reported Egypt Today, citing Al Arabiya (Dubai). The Libyan National Army said it would hand Ashmawy over to Egyptian authorities after an investigation, reported Reuters. Ashmawy is wanted in Egypt for membership in a terrorist group and the attempted assassination of former Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in September, reported Agence France-Presse. Ashmawy joined the Egyptian armed forces in 1996 at the age of 18. He later joined an elite commando squadron and trained in the U.S. He was eventually drawn to extremist preachers. In 2012, he was dismissed from the military. He soon joined Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the forerunner to the ISIS-affiliated Sinai Province. He is believed to have left Egypt before the terror group pledged allegiance to ISIS and instead formed a group that attacked soldiers in Egypt's Western Desert
Item Number:8 Date: 10/09/2018 LITHUANIA - GERMAN SOLDIER DIES DURING TRAINING EXERCISE (OCT 09/LIMOD) LITHUANIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- A German soldier has been killed during a NATO training exercise in eastern Lithuania, reports the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense. On Oct. 6, an armored vehicle crashed into a tree during a military exercise in Pabrade, the ministry said. An investigation by German law enforcement agencies has been launched into the crash. The German-led battalion, comprising about 1,200 troops, has been deployed in Lithuania since 2017 as part of NATO efforts to increase its military presence on its eastern flank. The battalion, integrated with Lithuania's Iron Wolf mechanized infantry brigade, conducts joint drills with Lithuanian forces during peacetime and will defend Lithuania in a crisis
Item Number:14 Date: 10/09/2018 UKRAINE - SABOTAGE SUSPECTED IN BLAST AT AMMUNITION DEPOT (OCT 09/REU) REUTERS -- Ukrainian officials suspect sabotage in a series of explosions at an ammunition depot, reports Reuters. On Tuesday, more than 12,000 people were evacuated after explosions ripped through the ammo dump 110 miles (180 km) east of Kiev. Gas and electricity to the area were cut. There were explosions at intervals in different parts of the facility, likely indicating sabotage, said the defense ministry spokesman. Maj. Gen. Rodion Tymoshenko, a deputy chief of the General Staff, said he suspected sabotage, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Gen. Tymoshenko did not say who was likely behind the attack. Previous attacks have been blamed on Russia. Military prosecutors have opened an investigation into the incident on suspicion of negligence, said the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). The agency said it was considering all causes, including sabotage. Investigations after similar explosions at ammunition depots in March and September 2017 found significant problems in site management.
Item Number:16 Date: 10/09/2018 VENEZUELA - OPPOSITION POLITICIAN DIES IN SUSPECTED DEFENESTRATION (OCT 09/CNN) CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- A Venezuelan opposition politician suspected of attempting to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro has died under unusual circumstances, reports CNN. On Monday, Fernando Alban fell to his death from a 10th-floor window of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) headquarters. Interior Minister Nestor Luis Reverol said that the 56-year-old Caracas city councilor jumped out of the window while being transferred to court. Attorney General Tarek William Saab offered a similar account, but said Alban had asked to go to the bathroom before jumping out the window. Critics of the Maduro government maintain that Alban was killed by the government. It is unlikely that a murder suspect would be allowed to roam freely in the building, Alban's lawyer told CNN. Alban was arrested on Oct. 5 apparently in relation to an assassination attempt in August, which used several drones to attack Maduro while he gave a speech during a military parade. Maduro was not harmed. At least 30 people have been apprehended in relation to the attack. The opposition First Justice party said Alban was arrested for his statements at the U.N. General Assembly last month condemning human-rights violations in Venezuela, reported Reuters. The government had previously given no reason for Alban's arrest.